Hi, I saw the replies to “process of sending/replying to a Parish” and they were all very helpful. However, maybe some of you will be able to help me with this problem. My parents are going to Messina on May 5. They will only be there for the afternoon, but will have a person who speaks Italian with them. I have been able to trace my mother’s family back to about 1765. She was hoping to go over to Santa Maria Dell’ Arco (the family church) and ask about baptism records for her g/g/g/g/grandfather. I thought we should write a letter explaining this to them and asking if the records are still stored there and if it would be alright to visit on that day and see the records. Any suggestions? Thank you, Laura
Is that Italian speaking person a local person? If yes, it would likely be wise to have him/her call the priest in the parish. I Have found that emails and websites for Italian churches simply never respond. When we went to Racalmuto, Sicily last year, we had an Italian driver for only three hours time because we had to get back to our tour bus an hour away. There were four Racalmuto churches all within a block with two open and two closed. The driver found the parish priest in one of the churches who was in charge of all four churches. He quickly summoned a parishioner to help us find records and that worked well. Wish we had more time (only had a net 30 minutes). I am still working with that parishioner who in a year's time, maybe spent two hours time one month ago after I had a distant relative in Italy call her, and she found me a couple of more generations and asked if she should continue which I said yes. However, she mostly gives excuses for not trying even though I have agreed, per her request, to pay her. Apparently she is the only one because she answers the "priest's" emails so that I can't find another with better motivation.